13 October 2021
We condemn the forced liquidation of the Union of Belarusian Writers earlier this month.
The independent Union of Belarusian Writers (UBW), the Society of Authors’ (SoA) Belarusian counterpart, was forcibly dissolved on Friday 1st October following a court order from the Minsk Supreme Court.
This is the latest instalment in a series of efforts by the Belarusian authorities to repress writers, translators, and the independent cultural scene in Belarus – see for example the appeal earlier this year to press the illegitimate Lukashenka’s regime to release the political prisoners.
This persecution is simply unacceptable in a democratic regime and is in direct violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, including free speech.
'We observe in real time the deterioration of a state into a fascist regime, in the direct neighbourhood of Europe,' says Nina George, President of the European Writers Council (EWC). 'It is true that the illegitimate Lukashenka regime has already abused forced liquidation as a popular means of pressure to bend unpopular opinions and frighten people in the decades before. However, what we have witnessed since July 2021 is a strategic extermination mechanism against free speech, against democracy, against culture – and against the Belarusian Nation.'